KEEN restocking, feedlot and processor demand for declining quality supplies lifted prices for light and restocker new season lambs in saleyards mid-week.
Prices for light slaughter and trade lambs moved to 600c/kg or more for the best lines in several saleyards, including at Wagga, Hamilton and Horsham, helped along by skin values of up to $20 on suitable Merino lines.
Trade and heavy weight prices plateaued on quality, with rates lifting for any quality lines, although the overall quality of a much larger eastern states offering and secondary lamb rates depressed the eastern states daily indicators.
NLRS light lamb indicators lift
After Thursday’s saleyard sales, the National Livestock Reporting Service’s Eastern States Daily Indicators for lamb were: restocker 558c/kg, up 3 cents; Merino 507c/kg, up 7c; light 529c/kg, up 3c; trade 552c/kg, down 1c; heavy 557c/kg, down 3c. The national trade lamb indicator fell 1 cent to 553c/kg and the heavy indice closed on 557c/kg, down 4c.
The ESDI for mutton finished up 1 cent to 312c/kg and the national indicator was down 2 cents to 313c/kg.
Carcoar’s best trade lambs $4 dearer
In New South Wales at the Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange at Carcoar on Wednesday, the agents yarded 6100 lambs, 150 fewer than last week, and 5750 sheep, 2450 more.
The NLRS said there was a good selection of shorn lambs and only limited numbers of well-finished new season lambs. There were a good percentage of lighter weights to suit the restockers.
Lightweight lambs sold to processors were $4 cheaper, with the 12-18kg 2 scores selling from $64-$100. Trade weight new season lambs were $3 cheaper at $95-$150 to average 578c/kg cwt. The better selection of trade weight old lambs were $4 dearer at $95-$139. Heavy weight lambs were firm to $3 cheaper, with the over 22kg 4 scores selling from $135-$159 to average around 573c/kg cwt. Restocker lambs were $3 dearer, selling to $112 and hoggets sold to $110.
Most weights and grades were represented in the mixed yarding of mutton. Merino sheep were $5 dearer, while the crossbreds were firm to $3 cheaper. The 2 score ewes sold from $29-$62, while the better 3 and 4 score Merinos made $60-$84 and crossbreds made to $96. The 3 and 4 score Merino wethers sold from $66-$90.
Wagga’s light lambs lift $4-$5, restockers up $10
At the Wagga saleyards on Thursday, the agents yarded 36,000 lambs, 13,000 more than last week, and 11,000 sheep, 2300 more.
The NLRS said lamb quality was outstanding in the classic summer yarding, which had plenty of grain-fed lambs over 25kg cwt. Medium and heavy trade weight lambs were limited in each agent’s run and quality was mostly very good. Light weight trade lambs were well supplied and sold to steady demand from domestic processors and feedlot buyers.
Lighter weight lambs suitable to restock or feed-on were in short supply and store orders were plentiful. New season trade lambs were limited, making from $113-$148. The better-finished lambs were shorn, selling from $131-$154 to average 569c/kg cwt. Shorn light trade lambs sold to fluctuating price trends, easing $2. Light lambs sold to slaughter were in short supply, contributing to a dearer trend of $4-$5. Merino trade lambs sold to keen competition at $114-$135. Lambs for restocking and to feed on sold to stronger demand after widespread rain, with prices lifting $10.
Heavy and extra heavy lambs were well-supplied and all northern buyers were eager to capture a market share. Heavy lambs were unchanged to $3 easier at $148-$161.20. There was plenty of weight in the extra heavy offering, with several pens over 30kg cwt. Prices eased $6-$7, with extra heavy lambs making from $158-$197.60.
The very mixed quality offering of mutton included all weights and grades. Heavy ewes made from $78-$110 to make mostly 274-320c/kg cwt. Light and medium grades sold from $34-$97.20 and medium weights sold mostly from 292-314c/kg.
Hamilton’s best trade lambs $2 dearer
In Victoria at the Hamilton saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 14,518 lambs, 2554 more than last week.
The NLRS said there was a larger yarding of lambs on a much-needed rain soaked day at Hamilton. Some good quality heavy and medium trade weights were supplied, and more light and store grades of well-bred lambs. Competition was strong throughout the sale, with all processors attending but not all operating.
Restockers from South Australia and Albury provided increased bidding against processors and lifted light weight lamb prices $4-$8. They paid $40-$86 for very light lambs and $80-$108 for better condition store lambs. The medium trade weights and the heavy lambs were mostly unchanged to be firm, with some sales $2 dearer. Light weight and light trade 2 score unshorn lambs sold from $78-$97 and the medium trade 2 and 3 scores made $104-$115 to average close to 540c/kg cwt. Light trade weight shorn lambs 2 and 3 scores sold from $80-$109, averaging around 570 c/kg. Trade weight 3 score shorn lambs made $107-$137, with the heavier drafts of 3 and 4 scores at $128-$139 and varying in cost from 505-570c/kg, to average an estimated 552c/kg. Heavy trade weight lambs 4 score sold from $138-$148 and the heaviest export 4 score lambs made $150-$164. Hoggets, 2-4 scores, made $65-$110.
Horsham’s extra heavy lambs up $5-$8
At the Horsham saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 6720 lambs, 2772 fewer than last week, and 490 shee0p, 184 fewer.
The NLRS said lamb quality was good, with good numbers of well-presented trade weight and heavy shorn lambs. Most of the usual buying group attended and operated keenly in a dearer market.
The best of the extra heavy lambs reached a top of $184, with lambs generally $5-$8 dearer than last week. Restockers were keen, with a south east SA buyer paying from $85-$115 for lambs. Light weight 2 score shorn lambs sold from $77-$92. Light trade 2 and 3 score lambs sold from $98-$122 and averaged around 560c/kg cwt. Trade weight 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $115-$126, with the heavier weights selling from $126-$146, and they ranged from 520c-580c,-average around 555c/kg cwt. Heavy 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $140-$171 and the extra heavy export lambs sold from $169-$184. The best unshorn lambs sold from $137-$146. Merino lambs sold-$128.50 and
Most sheep sold to keen demand. Merino hoggets in near-full wool sold from $94-$115. Light weight 1 and 2 score sheep sold from $40-$60. Medium weight 2 and 3 score sheep made $60-$82, with the Merino mutton averaging around 300c/kg cwt. Heavy 3-5 score sheep sold from $72-$90 and heavy Merino wethers sold to $93.
Mt Gambier lamb prices up $5-$10
In South Australia at the Mt Gambier saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 2060 lambs, 770 more than last week, and 741 sheep, 343 more.
The NLRS said a plain to good quality yarding of lambs was offered to a small field of processors and keen restockers.
Prices lifted $5-$10 for most weights of lambs, with heavier lambs least-affected. Light weight 1 score lambs went to restockers at $30-$51 and the 2 score light trade weights made $87-$111. The 3 score medium-heavy weight trade lambs sold from $99-$124 and heavier 3 and 4 scores made $127-$149. These trade and heavy weight lambs averaged 545c/kg cwt.
Sheep prices gained $5-$15 for a mostly good quality penning. The few heavy weight hoggets sold from $87-$90. Medium weight 2 and 3 score ewe sheep made $67-$79 and the heavy 3 and 4 scores made $80-$91. A pen of 4 score ewes sold to a restocker for $92. Extra-heavy weight rams sold to $52. Most ewe mutton sold around 300-320c/kg cwt.
Katanning lamb and mutton prices improve
In Western Australia at the Katanning saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 3967 lambs, 1308 more than last week, and 4000 sheep, 696 more.
The NLRS said it was mixed quality yarding of sheep and lambs. Lamb and mutton prices were up and prices were firm on all other categories. All the usual buyers attended, with graziers bidding on the store lines.
Light weight lambs sold from $56-$65 and trade weights made $72-$105. Heavy weights made from $95-$117. Store crossbred lambs sold to restockers and feeders made from $10 for the light weight and immature types up to $68 for the better quality lambs. Merino store lambs sold from $15 for light weights up to $68 for better quality lambs.
Restockers paid from $31-$57 for plain light store young Merino ewes. Young wethers sold from $35 for light weights up to $85 for the better quality pens. Trade hoggets made $62-$74.
Mutton quality was mixed, with the lighter ewes selling from $38-$42. Light ewes sold to slaughter made $40-$58 for those with a fleece. Better 3 score sheep with a 5cm fleece sold from $55-$87. Restockers paid $20-$42 for Merino ewes depending on quality. Older wethers sold to processors for $39-$59, while restockers and feeders paid up to $90. Wethers for live export sold from $86-$91. Young rams sold to $85 for live export and to $46 to restockers, feeders and graziers. Older rams made $5-$25 with processors.
Warwick’s top lambs make $143
In Queensland at the Warwick saleyards, the agents yarded 1587 lambs and hoggets, and 920 sheep.
In a larger yarding of sheep and lambs, the market was fully firm on last week’s rates. Crossbred lambs weighing 58.3 Kg lwt topped the market at $143 for L. Prickard of Warwick.
Crossbred lambs 46-55kg lwt sold from $123-$134, 42-45kg lwt lambs made $114-$126, 36-42kg lines ranged from $106-$114 and 35-40kg lambs sold for $98-$110.
Woolly crossbred hoggets, 63.2kg lwt, sold-$115. Trade wethers with $12 skins sold-$89 or 310c/kg, and light wethers, with $8 skins, made-$56, or 285c/kg. Heavy crossbred ewes with $8 skins sold-$81, or 300c/kg, and light ewes with $12 skins made-$52, or 285c/kg.
Source: MLA, NLRS